Groups Unite for White Rock Centennial

Organizations set aside differences for singular cause

By Bruce Felps
|  Tuesday, Jun 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 AM CDT
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Groups Unite for White Rock Centennial

Sunset at White Rock Lake

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White Rock Lake turns 100 almost a year to the day from now.

The construction on the dam and spillway concluded June 24, 1911, according to Dallas Park and Recreation historian Sally Rodriguez in her book “Images of America: White Rock Lake.”

The city plans a big party leading up to the commemorative date next year, and has assembled a White Rock Lake Centennial Host Party — I guess because Super Bowl XLV has a “host committee” — comprised of about 17 different municipal, civic, and recreational groups that don’t always see eye-to-eye.

Therein lies one of the most impressive aspects of all this.

Most all of these groups work in some way to better the lake and surrounding park areas. With the exception of the municipal groups — Dallas Water Utilities, which owns the lake, Park and Recreation, in charge of the, well, park areas, and Dallas police that patrol the area — the others are mostly volunteer groups.

They raise money for new park amenities, they trudge the shorelines and pick up trash left by louts who refuse to clean up after themselves, they plant tree groves and place historical markers. They also engage from time to time in petty little bickerings over real or imagined turf wars because, hey, it’s their lake.

Representatives of each of these groups — District 9 City Council representative the Lakewood Business Association, the Boat House and Filter Building, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas Running Club, White Rock Lake Conservancy, For the Love of the Lake, District 9 seat of the Dallas Park Board, Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, Corinthian Sailing Club, White Rock Boat Club, White Rock Lake Foundation, Dallas Cycling, Dallas police, White Rock Lake Dog Park, District 10 City Council representative, and District 10 Park Board — take a seat at the committee table and they’ll collaborate on 100 days of festivities leading up to the big blowout whatever June 25, 2011. It should be interesting to watch unfold.

Will it come off without a hitch or will there be blood?

One cool thing, though — they have arranged for Ebby Halliday to serve as the honorary chairwoman. The significance? She turns 100 next year, too.

Wow, Ebby Halliday is the same age as White Rock Lake.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Some days, he just feels like he’s 100 and not in the good, energetic Ebby Halliday kind of way.

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